Being Nice is Not Enough

There was a great article by Daniel Goleman in the recent Weekend Australian Being Nice is Not Enough (13/2/21).  The Weekend Australian regularly produces the best newspaper articles in Australia and this article by Goleman maintains the tradition.  He writes very well.

The title of the article sums up his main message: too many people confuse emotional intelligence with being nice.  This totally resonates with my own beliefs.  Goleman correctly assets that people who avoid conflict lack emotional intelligence.  He correctly asserts that emotionally intelligent people can handle confrontation when they need to and do it more strategically and productively.  He asks a great question: Do you want to create a team of ‘nice’ folks or people who are ‘strong’?

In the article Goleman again defines emotional intelligence by four components: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management (social skills).  You can always tyros in emotional intelligence by their definition of the subject.  In his classic book first published 25 years ago, Goleman had a 5th component: motivation.  He has since removed it from his list of core components.  People who still include it are definitely tyros on the topic of emotional intelligence.

In the article cites several examples of how conflict avoidance causes problems.  But he also demonstrates how people who can have good social awareness and social skills can manipulate others if they lack the third component of empathy: empathetic concern.  As someone who fits this description again the article resonated.  So did his solution: start by getting married and raising a family.

The section of Goleman’s 25-year-old magnum opus that particularly resonated with me was Appendix A.  In this Appendix Goleman admits he is s unable to describe a theory of core emotions.  His book defined what EQ is and why it is important but failed to describe a way of how you could improve your EQ.  Goldman says he believed there are core emotions but admitted in the book that he did not know of an appropriate model.

When I read his book I knew I had the solution to Goleman’s problem: he needed not a model of emotions but a model of temperament which is your genetic emotional pre-disposition.  My core belief is that “People Drive Performance, Emotions Drive People; Temperament Drives Emotions”.  If you want to lift your emotional intelligence you need to use a model of temperament that is practical, easy-to-use, and scientifically valid.

The model of temperament I like is the 7MTF.  If you want to learn more about the 7MTF watch this short 4-minute explainer video.  If that awakens your appetite to lift your EQ this online-video course: Introduction to Practical Emotional Intelligence: The 7MTF is now available.

This article was first published on LinkedIn on 15 February 2021




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